My involvement in the meeting and event industry, and more broadly the hospitality industry, was
through my mother, who worked at a hotel while I was growing up. She had worked in different non-manage-rial positions and found her experience to be enriching, ful;illing and interesting. I was inspired by the people
she worked with and its closeness of community, as well as the myriad of people that visited the hotel. Since
that time, I have been fascinated by the intersection of culture and experiences that the hotel industry provided. I had worked in a few non-hospitality-related jobs but found my way quickly to the meeting and event
industry, where my passion for this career only continues to grow.
With the advances in our industry through technology, I ;ind one of the larger impactful challenges is
to consistently be more comfortable with change and be willing to be curious and interested in new ways of
doing things and remain open to differing viewpoints and thoughts.
I remain passionate and inspired each and every day by our industry and its ability to make the world
smaller and more intimate. Our industry brings people together to meet and to connect, and in doing so
moves not only business and the economy forward, but also, most importantly, enhances our connections to
each other and our community.
Michael Dominguez, senior vice president with MGM Resorts International, is an individual who
continues to inspire me, his team and others in the industry. He is a passionate leader and advocate and has
served on several industry boards and organizations, including being a past chairman of MPI. Mike inspires
our team’s commitment to be an active and engaged participant of the industry and to show how we can each
individually in;luence and move our industry and community forward.
I have served on the MPI Northern California Chapter board of directors for the past three-plus years,
and continue to stay active in encouraging individuals to become more intimately involved in the organization
and the industry. I have also had the pleasure of participating on the global MPI Chapter and Membership
Advisory Council this past year. The involvement and network of MPI has provided an opportunity to further
develop my professional growth and personal development through networking and participation in industry
education and programming.
Our industry needs increased visibility, advocacy and understanding of what we do each and every day
and the impact and economic value of meetings and events. We have made much progress in the past several
years through the efforts of several organizations to articulate to others the signi;icance of our industry, and
we need to continue to share with others the viability of the industry.
I have always been inspired by the opportunity to volunteer and give back to
the community by taking on board and leadership roles with different non-pro;its
and organizations. In my personal life as well as professional life, I remain active
and passionate in providing service to others.
Each year, I travel to at least one place that I haven’t visited before to learn and
to be inspired to continually make the world a smaller community. Work travel provides me continuous opportunities to connect and to stay in in touch with industry
friends everywhere, too.
MPI NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER
Gary Murakami, GTP,
GLP, CMP, CMM, is director,
global sales, for MGM Resorts
International and VP of
education for the MPI Northern
California Chapter. He has been
an MPI member since 2011.
Photo by Jeff Loy